Spicy Margaritas

A month or so ago, M&I were out to dinner, and the power went out in the entire Marina as we were about to pay. Our server basically told us he understood if we just left, but when we sat around and waited for the power to return, he brought us a flight of house-infused tequilas to thank us for our patience.

SpicyTequila2When the lights go out in the city…

It may have been the 2+ glasses of wine, the free tequila, or the excitement of the entire Marina in pure darkness, but we fell in love with the spicy tequila, and set out to figure out how to make our own.

We followed this recipe almost exactly, but here’s what we did:

1 750 ml bottle of Tequila Blanco
2 Cups chopped Pineapple
3 Jalapeños, sliced in strips, with the seeds

1. Put pineapple and jalapeños in a large jar (we found one for $2 on clearance at Target).
2. After 2 days remove the jalapeños.
3. After another 2 days, remove the pineapples, and strain the tequila back in to its original bottle.

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The first time we made this, it was perfectly spicy, full of flavor of both the pineapple and the jalapeño. The second time we made it, we forgot to take out the jalapenos for 4 days, so we left the pineapple in for another 2 days, and it was much sweeter with less of a bite. I prefer the spicier tequila, but you can play around with the length of time the jalapeños and pineapple stay in the tequila to find a blend that works for you. (We’re currently on Day 2 of our third batch, and I hope we get something closer to the first…) (UPDATE: The third batch was exactly like the first batch)

We’ve also tried this with 2 cups of chopped Mango and 3 Habaneros, but we both preferred the Pineapple-Jalapeño tequila. And this is coming from someone who loves everything mango.

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Mike’s Spicy Margaritas:

3 oz Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila*
2 oz Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1 oz Agave
Splash Triple Sec
(Edit: I was just informed by my personal bartender that it was a splash of Cointreau)

1. Shake in a cocktail shaker
2. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses

*If too spicy, make with 1 oz Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila, and 2 oz Tequila Blanco

SpicyTequila3Pairs well with taco night.

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My Very First Blathering!

I’ve been watching The Blathering from afar, admiring all the amazing ladies that went every year, wishing I was cool enough to join their ranks. Then one year, just before Charleston, Jennie assured me that everyone was welcome and yes, really, that means me, and no, she promises no one will think I’m weird. But timing didn’t work out for Charleston, and when the time to register for Seattle rolled around, I was in the middle of a really shitty year, and I didn’t know where I’d be living in April of 2015. (Spoiler alert: I made it back to California)

When I heard that The Blathering 2016 would be in Vegas, I was excited! It was close enough for me to drive, and it was a city I’d visited dozens (if not more than 100) times, so I felt like I was going home.

As the day of the Blathering grew near, I began to panic. You see, when you spend 5+ years with someone and every single woman in his life despises you, it really messes with your self-esteem. I was told I wasn’t good enough, didn’t make enough money, wasn’t tidy enough, wasn’t smart enough, was too flighty, too emotional, too silly, not refined enough, wasn’t thin enough, didn’t wear enough makeup, didn’t have a PhD from Yale, my parents’ careers weren’t prestigious enough… and when this continued for half a decade, I really began to think there was something wrong with me. Something deep that was too far beyond repairing. Despite three different therapists telling me, no, it wasn’t about me, it was a reflection of their own insecurities projected on me, I still felt like I wasn’t enough.

Moving back home to California did wonders for me – I was with people who loved me for me, who remembered who I was before I was beaten to the ground and helped pull me from the pits. I excelled at my new job. I found someone who told me I was the nicest person he had ever met, and didn’t care that I wore silly hats to hockey games. And bars. I was loved, and treasured, and I began to feel like myself again. And I was happy.

But those 5 years of not being enough sat in the back of my mind. Would the people at The Blathering think I was weird? Would they be mad at me because I took the place of someone else they loved, who couldn’t come because I’m here. Would they perceive my occasional shyness as being bitchy? What if I was too tall? Or too short? Or my dress wasn’t fancy enough? Or my shoes not stylish enough? Or what if…

…and I let it consume me so much that I almost didn’t go.

But I went.

And I’m so glad I did.

I walked in to the cupcake party, and Jennie ran up to me and gave me a hug and said “I’m so glad you’re here!” And I introduced myself to one of the Sara(h)s, and she said “I know who you are, and I’m glad I get to know you this weekend!” And people I recognized only from their avatars on Twitter walked in to the hotel room and their faces lit up when they saw me.

It was enough that I was just there.

Blathering

I know this picture doesn’t include all of the women at The Blathering, but this picture represents everything that is wonderful about The Blathering. More than thirty women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds, confidently rocking bathing suits in public, enjoying each other’s company, laughing , and not a single ounce of negativity or shaming. This is exactly the kind of world I want to live in. I’m so glad I found you. I wish I knew you all when I drove across the country by myself because those pit stops would have been epic.

R’s Nerdy Thirty

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for more than a year. R didn’t want me to post it, but considering (1) I no longer give a shit and (2) I’m attending my very first Blathering, I need to get this little blog up and running again. I’ve been explaining what I did for this party to people for years, so this post seemed to be pretty perfect to get back in to it. I’ll try to contain my snarky digs at R and his folks (who hated the party, btw) (ok, that will be my only dig, promise) (but seriously. They HATED this idea)

***

R turned 30 and I wanted to do something big for him. I knew that I wanted to throw a surprise party, and I wanted there to be a theme. I tried to think of themes to include his favorites: Muppets, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Video Games, Robots – and they all came out looking with varying degrees of success. I didn’t want it to look like a child’s party – He is an adult turning THIRTY. But I did want it to be fun, a little punny, and include all of his interests. And then it hit me – NERDY THIRTY

RsN30invite
Address/phone numbers removed for privacy’s sake. The QR code opened a map, but altered slightly for same reason.

I had a lot of fun putting together the themed menu, and it was basically a big hit. Some of the references were lost on most of the guests, but that was OK. R got everything, with the exception of the Legend of Zelda reference, because I didn’t realize he had never played the game before (UNACCEPTABLE!)

Anyway, here’s the food table, referred to as Admiral snAckbar:
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Computer-y things:
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hardware (utensils) | software (napkins) | pi (mango pie) | chips (get it? like computer chips!) 

Lord of the Rings:
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lembas bread (pita chips) | council of elrond (e.l. fudge cookies) | second breakfast (pastries) 

Star Wars:
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dagobah swamp (spinach artichoke dip) | bantha fodder (popcorn) 

Legend of Zelda (sortof) | James Bond (sortof) | Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
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be square (triscuit) | lon lon ranch cheeses | broccoli | babel fish (goldfish crackers)

This one was a bit of a stretch. One of R’s favorite snacks is Triscuit with sliced cheeses. The tagline on the invitations was “Be Square” so I kindof used that as the them for the Triscuit. As I mentioned before, R didn’t get the Zelda/Lon Lon Ranch reference. But not all references can be perfect. Same with the broccoli as a reference to James Bond. We had just finished watching every James Bond movie, so I wanted to include 007 in the party somehow. Bonus points if you get it without clicking this link.

Ninja Turtles / Muppets / Star Trek:
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pizza | cup labels | rainbow connection (fruit salad) 

Cake:
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It was NOT a lie, and it was delicious. 

And of course, the star of the show: The Death Star Watermelon
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We told R that you can’t have a Death Star without destroying it using The Force. His response was “Well, clearly this is the first Death Star, and there isn’t an exhaust port” so we handed him a blindfold and a baseball bat and told him to improvise.

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Food stuff I had planned, but forgot to take photos of:
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (adult beverage, Hitchhiker’s Guide)
Vaderade (fruit punch, Star Wars)
Felix Felicis (lemonade, Harry Potter)
Goldfingers (chicken fingers, James Bond)
Edgar Food (salad, named of course for Edgar)

Lastly, I found a company that lets you design your very own robot, so I made the little guy on the invitations:
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The RobBot liiiiiiives